The Museo de Arte de Ponce, located on the Luis A. Ferré Boulevard in Puerto Rico’s second largest city, is home to an internationally renowned collection of more than 4,500 works of art. Its current building, inaugurated in 1965 and recognized by the American Institute of Architecture two years later, reopened its doors in 2010 after the completion of mayor renovation and expansion projects. A monumental sculpture by acclaimed American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, “Brushstrokes in Flight,” welcomes you from the street and into the museum.
Originally designed by American architect Edward Durell Stone, the building features a lovely staircase that leads from the main entrance up to the uniquely illuminated hexagonal galleries on its second floor. It now accommodates some 820 works of art on view – some dating back to the ninth century B.C. – with European, American, and African cultures all well represented. Objects range from prints to photographs, drawings, sculptures, paintings, and other mediums.
Highlights include Lord Frederic Leighton’s “Flaming June” from 1895 – the museum’s signature painting – and Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones’s masterful “The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon,” an enormous canvas the artist worked on from 1881 to the time of his death seventeen years later. Equally important are paintings by Puerto Rican masters José Campeche and Francisco Oller, as well as those by more modern players in the local art world.
A new annex to the main building houses several exciting features such as the Open Storage area, where visitors can learn more about the museum’s “behind the scenes” processes; and the Anton J. Konrad Conservation Center, the laboratory in charge of restoration and preservation efforts. The Luis A. Ferré Historical Archive – named after the museum’s founder and Puerto Rico’s third elected governor -, the Rosario Ferré Library, an education center, and several outdoor garden areas round out the museum experience.
Ponce’s Museum of Art is undoubtedly one of the most significant attractions in the southern municipality and is responsible for giving this “Pearl of the South” some of its luster.
Offices: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:pm
Library: Monday-Thursday 10:00am-7:00pm // Tuesday by appointment only // Friday-Saturday 10:00am-2:00pm
Store: Wednesday-Monday 11:00am-7:00pm